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Europe finds itself in the grip of a catastrophic natural disaster as storm Daniel floods Southern Europe, releasing relentless torrents of rain and triggering severe flooding. The aftermath has been grim, with a confirmed death toll of at least eight individuals and several others still unaccounted for in Greece, Turkey, and Bulgaria. Homes, businesses, and roads have succumbed to the deluge, leaving behind a trail of devastation and disarray. With the region on high alert for further flooding and impending severe storms, experts underscore the looming threat of climate change, which could amplify the scale of this disaster.
At least eight lives have been tragically lost in the wake of Storm Daniel, which has wreaked havoc across multiple countries in Southern Europe. Mainland Greece bears the brunt of this natural disaster, with three lives claimed by the flooding. North-western Turkey mourns the loss of two individuals, while Bulgaria’s Black Sea coastline records three casualties.
Greece, in particular, faces a daunting challenge as it grapples with the aftermath of intense rainfall as storm Daniel floods Southern Europe. The country is no stranger to severe weather, but this storm has delivered several months’ worth of rain in just a few days. The coastal port city of Volos, located north of Athens, experienced a deluge, with rainfall reaching ten times its monthly average, causing extensive flooding and damage to homes, businesses, and infrastructure.
Greek Civil Protection Minister Vassilis Kikilias expressed grave concern, emphasizing that four people remain missing in central Greece, the area most severely impacted by the storm. He labeled the event an “unprecedented phenomenon” and stressed that Volos, still enduring heavy rainfall, faces the daunting task of recovering from Tuesday’s devastation. The port city remains in darkness as power outages persist.
Meteorologist Dimitris Ziakopoulos, working with Greece’s civil protection department, characterized the rainfall as “a huge number for Greek records and most regions in Europe,” alluding to the impact of storm Daniel’s floods in Southern Europe. Greek meteorologists noted that this rainfall far exceeds the annual average for the country. In addition to flooded roads, Pelion, near Volos, saw roadways collapsing and a nursing home partially collapsing due to the heavy rains.
The Greek fire service rescued dozens of residents trapped by the floods in Pelion. In the area around Mount Pelion, central Greece, meteorological observations recorded 600 to 800 millimeters of rain within 24 hours. Traffic circulation has been halted in multiple towns in central Greece, including Trikala, Farsala, and Karditsa.
Facing the disastrous consequences as storm Daniel floods Southern Europe, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis termed the weather phenomenon “totally extreme” and implored the public to heed authorities’ instructions.
In Turkey’s Kirklareli district, northwest of the country, at least two lives were lost, while four individuals remain missing following flooding in the Igneada Sisli Valley. Meanwhile, Bulgaria’s Black Sea coastline saw three confirmed deaths in the municipality of Tsarevo, with one person still unaccounted for. The flooding has havoc on the region’s infrastructure, roads, and bridges.
The relentless rainfall and the persistent storm system raise concerns that it could develop into a “medicane,” a tropical-like cyclone that can bring hazardous conditions to the Mediterranean Sea and coastal regions. These medicane systems share similarities with tropical storms or hurricanes, potentially exacerbating the challenges posed by Storm Daniel.
This flooding catastrophe follows a summer of extreme European weather characterized by heatwaves and devastating wildfires. Scientists assert that the accelerating climate crisis contributes to more frequent and severe extreme weather events, underscoring the urgency of climate action.